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Council leaders write joint letter calling for RMT and Merseyrail to find settlement

Credit: ITV Granada

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and the Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson have written a joint letter to the RMT and Merseyrail, calling on both sides to engage in immediate, independent conciliation without conditions.

It follows a series of strikes by members of the RMT union concerning the long- running dispute over the role of guards and driver- only trains.

Leaders of the other five districts within the Liverpool City Region are also included in the joint letter, which calls on both parties to find a settlement of their dispute as early as possible.

The letter states:

We are concerned that this dispute is continuing, and feel that only meaningful dialogue and a willingness to engage in detailed negotiation can find a way forward. We are equally concerned that statements emanating from both sides only serve to entrench positions and have the potential to make it more difficult for sides to come to a negotiated settlement.”

– Joint letter

Steve Rotheram said:

We have been in contact with both sides to encourage dialogue and resolution, but it is now our belief that an independent process of conciliation without conditions could achieve a breakthrough. The dispute has gone on for long enough and for the benefit of the public, both parties need to break the deadlock.”

– Steve Rotheram

Read the letter in full:

Dear Mick and Jan,

As the political leaders in theLiverpool City Region, we are writing collectively in light of the on-goingindustrial action on the Merseyrail network.

We are concerned that this disputeis continuing, and feel that only meaningful dialogue and a willingness toengage in detailed negotiation can find a way forward.

We are equally concerned thatstatements emanating from both sides only serve to entrench positions and havethe potential to make it more difficult for sides to come to a negotiatedsettlement.

We are in no doubt that with themassive investment in the new trains, the Merseyrail network will be enhancedsignificantly.

We understand, however, that changecan be difficult for all parties involved, but with three years before the newfleet arrives there is more than enough time for detailed negotiations to finda mutually acceptable agreement.

We appreciate this may requiremovement from all sides, but believe this would be in the best interests of thetravelling public.

We are calling for both parties inthe dispute, Merseyrail and the RMT, to agree to engage in a process ofindependent conciliation, starting with no pre-conditions, with the intent of seekingto find a negotiated settlement as soon as practicable.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Rotheram

Metro Mayor ofthe Liverpool City Region

Cllr Rob Polhill

Leader of HaltonCouncil

Cllr Andy Moorhead

Leader ofKnowsley Council

Joe Anderson

Mayor ofLiverpool

Cllr Ian Maher

Leader of SeftonCouncil

Cllr Barrie Grunewald

Leader of StHelens Council

Cllr Phil Davies

Leader of WirralCouncil

– Liverpool council leaders

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Steve Rotheram to run for Mayor of Merseyside

Steve Rotheram Credit: PA Images

Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram has confirmed he'll run to become Labour's candidate for the Mayor of Merseyside. Elections take place in 2017. The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson is also expected to run.

“I have received such an overwhelming number of individuals and organisations who have contacted me encouraging me to do what they believe would be the right thing for the whole city region and its people.  “I have a positive vision for the future of our area and would adopt a ‘No borough left behind’ approach.  

“I passionately believe that under my Mayoralty, Merseyside will be region reborn. Where no one is shut out, left behind or told they do not matter. Everyone will have a stake in our future helping create an ambitious, forward looking and united region. 

“It will be my intention to be ‘fully inclusive’ and to consult with Councillors, Local Stakeholders, MPs and other authorities on a regular basis about the policy making process.  

“I will be announcing a number of policy priorities over the coming weeks that will provide the basis for my manifesto for change and outline my strategic vision for the City Region.”

– Steve Rotheram, MP
  1. National

Liverpool MP: 'Verdict marks the beginning of the end'

This verdict marks the beginning of the end of the Hillsborough disaster. At long last, the families have achieved their ultimate goal, which is to change the verdict on the death certificates.

The families have been an inspiration to Britain as they have fought their 23-year dignified campaign.

Now that the fresh inquests have been ordered, it would be wrong for the families to have to pay for a second inquest. They should not have to bear the financial penalty of the Establishment's mistakes in 1989.

The Chancellor should also take this opportunity to waive the VAT on the Justice Collective Hillsborough tribute single so that every single penny raised can support the families in the legal costs in the fight for justice.

– Hillsborough campaigner and Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram

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